Rick Defieux, Founder and Investment Committee Chair
Daniel Geballe, Associate
David Griest, Managing Director
Arrun Kapoor, Managing Director
Alan Kelley, Managing Director
Dave Kirkpatrick, Founder and Managing Director
Stephanie Nieman, Associate
Cody Nystrom, Managing Director
Daniel Robinson, Senior Associate
Elizabeth Taylor, Finance Manager
Also see SJF’s Expert Network
Rick Defieux, the Chair of SJF IC and co-founder of SJF, has been a venture capitalist for 27 years. Rick is also an advisor to Battelle and Battelle company 360ip where he is Managing Director – Investments of two venture funds in Asia. As a General Partner of Allegra Partners IV and Edison Venture Funds I, II and III, Defieux led investments in more than 25 environmental, energy and communications companies; he received a Cleantech Pioneer Award in 2003 from the Cleantech Group for his early work in cleantech investing. He is a board director at Airxchange and Primex Process Specialists. Defieux has an MBA from Columbia University and a BA and MA from Boston University.
Defieux’s email is email@example.com and his phone number is 215-962-2118.
Daniel Geballe is an Associate in the California office of SJF Ventures. Prior to SJF, Dan worked for DBL Investors (summer associate), Corporation for Enterprise Development and Fisher Investments.
Dan has a Bachelor’s Degree in anthropology and Master’s Degree in environmental management from Yale University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He serves on the boards of the Levi Strauss Foundation and the Koshland Committee of the San Francisco Foundation and is on the advisory board of Butler Koshland Fellowships.
Geballe’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org and telephone number is 415-420-0988.
David Griest is a Managing Director in SJF Ventures’ Durham, NC office. He joined SJF in 2004. David serves on the board of SJF portfolio companies Aseptia (sustainable food processing technology), BioSurplus (used laboratory equipment), Optoro (asset recovery solutions), eRecyclingCorps (reprocessing wireless devices), Rustic Crust (all-natural and organic pizza products), and Telkore (wireless infrastructure services). He previously served on the board of Salvage Direct (online salvage vehicle auction) and as a board observer for Intechra (electronics lifecycle management).
David was previously with Croft & Bender, an investment bank in Atlanta that provides venture capital, M&A and other financial advisory services for middle market and emerging growth companies in the Southeast. He also helped manage C&B Capital, a private equity fund that selectively invests in privately-held, small- and mid-sized, high-potential growth companies. C&B Capital’s investments include venture capital for emerging growth companies, growth capital for more established companies and leveraged acquisitions and recapitalizations for growth-oriented companies with strong cash flows.
David has an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BBA in Finance from the University of Georgia. He enjoys mountaineering and hiking to each of the 50 states’ high points.
Griest’s email is email@example.com and his office number is 919-530-1177 x409.
Arrun Kapoor is the Managing Director for SJF Ventures’ New York City office and a Ventures Advisor to the SJF Institute. He leads the NYC CleanLinks program and is an Advisory Board Member of NYC ACRE: NYU-Poly and the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission Green Business Accelerator. He is on the Board of Think Through Learning and FieldView Solutions and a Board Observer to ServiceChannel and Truist. Kapoor was most recently with Bain & Company in London and Delhi where he launched the firm’s internal green practice initiatives. He worked with Bain’s private equity consulting practice and gained experience in a range of cleantech-related industries. Prior to Bain, he was a founding member and Manager with a successful consulting start-up in New York and London. He holds a Master’s in International Political Economics from the London School of Economics and completed a BA from New York University with an economics and business focus.
Kapoor’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his office number is 212-209-3063.
Alan Kelley is the Managing Director for SJF Ventures’ California office. He has led investments in and represented SJF on the boards of Easy Metrics (productivity intelligence), MediaMath (digital media trading), MedPage Today (online content for clinicians), Preclick (photo software), Ryla Teleservices (call center services), ServiceChannel (SaaS for facilities managers) and Vital Farms (sustainable agriculture).
Prior to joining SJF Ventures, Kelley worked primarily in investment management. He conceived, developed and managed Trusco Capital Management’s first Internet and technology mutual fund, which ranked in the top quintile of the Lipper Science and Technology Funds Universe.
Kelley received a B.A. in Public Policy from Duke University in 1991. He earned his M.B.A. from the Goizueta Business School’s Evening Program at Emory University in 1999.
Dave Kirkpatrick is Managing Director and co-founder of SJF Ventures, which focuses on high growth, positive impact ventures. The fund has offices in Durham, NC, New York and San Francisco, and was founded in 1999. Dave helped lead SJF’s capitalization of three funds totaling $135 million. The most recent fund, SJF Ventures III, LP, was closed at $90 million in the spring of 2013 and was oversubscribed beyond its $75 million target. SJF Ventures has invested in 41 portfolio companies and David currently serves on the boards of Entouch Controls, Community Energy, groSolar, and ED MAP. Dave’s particular industry focus areas include energy efficiency, recycling & reuse, solar, and M2M enabled resource efficiency companies.
Previous to SJF, Dave founded and managed two other successful enterprises – KirkWorks, a cleantech investment consulting firm, and SunShares, a solar energy and recycling company. Dave was named the national 2005 CDVC Practitioner of the Year by the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance and Recycler of the Year in 1996, the National Recycling Coalition’s award for leadership in the recycling industry. Dave co-founded the SJF Institute in 2001 which merged with Investors’ Circle, a twenty-year old impact investment angel network, in 2011. He is a frequent public speaker on venture capital, cleantech innovation and impact investing.
Dave earned a BA in Physics and History from Duke University in 1982 and an MBA from UNC Kenan Flagler Business School (KFBS) in 1991. He was named KFBS Executive MBA Alumni of the Year in 2010.
Kirkpatrick’s email is email@example.com, he is on Twitter @dkirk855 and his direct office number is 919-908-8365. He is based in the Durham, NC office.
Stephanie Nieman is an Associate in SJF Ventures’ North Carolina office. Stephanie is responsible for assisting in all aspects of the investment process, including identifying potential investment opportunities, conducting due diligence, structuring terms of investment and providing ongoing support to active portfolio companies, as well as supporting SJF’s fund administration. She also oversees fund impact measurement and reporting.
Stephanie was previously at B Lab, a US-based nonprofit whose mission is to harness the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Stephanie oversaw B Lab’s impact assessment strategy in U.S., Canadian and European markets; led development of B Analytics, a data platform for impact investing; and helped drive capital to high-impact investments.
Prior to B Lab, Stephanie worked in Institutional Equity Sales at Lehman Brothers, where she also served on the firm’s pro bono microfinance team and in sales and business development for Pearson Education. She has an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, a Graduate Certificate in International Development Policy from Duke University and a BS in Business from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Stephanie’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and her office number is 919-530-1177, x410.
Cody Nystrom is a Managing Director at SJF Ventures. She joined SJF in their Durham, North Carolina office in 2007. Cody represents SJF on the boards of Versify Solutions (SaaS solutions for utilities and power producers), Community Energy, Inc. (utility-scale solar developer and renewable energy credit marketer) and Vital Farms (national provider of pasture-raised eggs and poultry products). She previously led the investment in CleanScapes (waste and recycling services provider) before their successful exit in 2011 to Recology. Additionally, Cody serves on advisory or mentoring committees for SXSWEco, Investors’ Circle, Virginia Innovation Partnership, Lighthouse Labs and the Venture Forward mentoring group at University of Virginia.
Cody was previously at Ewing Bemiss & Co., an investment bank based in Richmond, Virginia that provides M&A and other financial advisory services to middle-market companies, primarily in the energy and environment fields. She worked on over a dozen M&A transactions and capital raising assignments totaling over $650 million in transaction value. Cody developed deep industry and project finance experience representing companies in the renewable energy space, specifically within the landfill gas, waste-to-energy and energy efficiency sectors. Cody graduated summa cum laude from the University of Virginia with a BS in Systems and Information Engineering and a minor in Business.
Nystrom’s email address is email@example.com and her office number is 804-230-1910.
Daniel Robinson is a Senior Associate in the New York City office of SJF Ventures. He looks at venture opportunities across sectors throughout the US and is particularly interested in leveraging sensors and data analytics to address big problems.
Previously, Daniel spent three years as an Associate at the multistage VC fund Good Energies, worked in business development on the Opower smart thermostat team, and was the first business person at a battery technology company in stealth mode backed by Kleiner Perkins. He has also done research on sensor-enabled businesses, smart grid, and data centers for Formation 8, Mayfield Fund, and Kleiner Perkins. Daniel is a graduate of Dartmouth College (2005), Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude, and holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (2013).
Daniel’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org and his telephone number is 212-209-3019. His twitter handle is @drobziz.
Elizabeth Taylor is SJF’s Finance Manager and is based in the Durham, NC office. She is a Certified Public Accountant and has more than 30 years experience in both for-profit and non-profit accounting and administration. Most recently she was the Firm Administrator for Thomas, Knight, Trent, King and Company in Durham, NC. In addition to working in finance and accounting, Elizabeth has several years of experience in the non-profit sector including positions with the American Dance Festival, Arts Advocates of North Carolina, the City of Durham, and as a private consultant. Currently she is an active member of the North Carolina Arts in Action and a leader/cook for the Sierra Club Service Committee. Elizabeth lives in Chapel Hill and has two grown daughters.
Elizabeth’s email address is email@example.com and her office number is 919-530-1177 x401.
Christine Primmer is a Venture Fellow from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. At Kenan-Flagler, Christine serves as Energy Club President and works as a Kenan Institute Economic Development Consultant. Other involvements include the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital and Net Impact clubs.
Prior to business school, Christine was a Manager at Alvarez & Marsal Business Consulting, where she helped grow the Atlanta practice of a global professional services firm specializing in turnaround, performance improvement, and business advisory. She led teams to implement projects with bottom-line results for clients in the retail, telecommunications, manufacturing, and non-profit sectors.
Christine graduated magna cum laude from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. While in school, she worked for GE Energy and studied with the Energy Tomorrow program at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
Christine’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and office number is 919-530-1177 x408.
The SJF Ventures team also works in close partnership with the SJF Institute team.
“SJF Ventures has been a great venture capital partner and board member for ED MAP. They share our philosophy of creating a win-win workplace in rural Appalachia that provides superior service and educational resources to our customers. They have rolled up their sleeves and helped on M&A, financing, option plans, management recruitment and strategy… helping accelerate ED MAP’s growth as a leading service and technology provider to secondary education institutions.”
Max Mark, CEO, ED MAP